Methylphenidate speeds evaluation processes of Attention Deficit Disorder adolescents during a continuous performance test
- Cite this article as:
- Klorman, R., Brumaghim, J.T., Fitzpatrick, P.A. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (1991) 19: 263. doi:10.1007/BF00911231
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Fortysix Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) adolescents took a Continuous Performance Test (CPT) under placebo and methylphenidate (35.33 mg/day). The task required pressing one button for targets (p=133),and another button for nontargets. Subjects displayed a strong bias to make the more frequent negative response before completely evaluating stimuli. Consistent with this assumption, subjects responded faster (by an average of 87 ms) to nontargets than to targets. Methylphenidate increased accuracy and speeded reaction times (RTs) to targets. The drug also increased the amplitude of the P3b component of the eventrelated potential for nontargets and shortened the latency of P3b for both targets and nontargets. These results suggest increased capacity allocation to and faster evaluation of task stimuli. Finally, the stimulant lengthened relative motor processing time (RT-P3b latency) for nontargets, a finding implying that response processing was accomplished with the benefit of earlier completion of evaluation processes for these stimuli.